Friday, December 9, 2022

What kind of data are your apps pulling?

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Raise your hand if you’re among those who see a cool app, you want to download it and you just add it to your phone without looking at anything else like what information is it getting? What data is it accessing? Now, to be clear, the stores for Apple and for Android spell out a lot of those details. So, if you want to get a sense of what kind of data are these apps looking at when you install an app, it’s right there before you even do that.

I will give you a prompt on your iPhone or Android, it’ll basically say how do you want this app to use your location? It might say only use it when I’m using the app or always have it on. So, that happens a lot. Again, some apps will say the app will work better if it’s always on, but for yourself you’re thinking, “I only need the location on when I’m using the app, I don’t need it any other time.” So, that’s something to check.

The best way to check that is to go into your settings and just double-check and see what kind of permissions you’re allowing for an app. For Android, you’ll go to settings, you’ll go to apps and then you’ll select the app that you’re focused on, then you’ll tap permissions. Then in there, you’ll see what the app has access to.

Same thing for iPhone. You’ll go to settings, then privacy, select the category, it’s broken down by photos or microphone or camera. Then for each category, you’ll see the list of apps that’ll request the permission, and then you can toggle whether you want it on or off.

Same for location too. When you see location, pick that and you’ll see what apps can use your location, and then you can drill down and figure out how much you want to give them. Do you want to do it only while you’re using the app? Do you want it to be on all the time or do you just not want to use your location at all? 

So, that’s something to keep in mind if you’re worried about your privacy.

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